Who Will Stand?


"Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them." -Charles Simic

There are no more Martins or Malcolms
or Medgars to televise the revolution.

Mandela can not be the savior of South Africa and everything "black".

Jesse Jackson can be newsworthy only for so long before
he is replaced by the 6 o'clock weather.

Huey Long raised his fist in the air and declared
"BLACK POWER" but he too is no more.

The panther, black and sleek in a concrete jungle
is on the brink of being extinct and
the revolutionary is an endangered species.

No one stands!

One day we will go to museums and wax houses
to see what a revolutionary looked like.
But the waxen lips will not speak of oppression and
the dissonance of the revolution will fall on deafened ears.

Our children will not know.

Their children will not know.

We will only be able to tell them of legends and myths;
stories to uplift the black soul.

When Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King and Afeni Shakur
pass from this life they will be exulted to royalty status;
powerless but powerful Queens of a Black Nation.

But still no one stands?

Defense wins wars but our tactic is to be tact.

Martin was not tact!

Medgar was not tact!

Malcolm was not tact!

We must fight back.

Who will, could, would, should, shall stand?

Notice the future tense but
presently who is standing?

Colin Powell hides behind his Bush
Content with being a guide, Tanto,
into the urban unknown of Africa-America.

But when will confident become conqueror;

peasant become President.

Condelleza flaunts her fluency in seven languages.

She can speak Russian but can she speak black?

Does she remember how to use ain't?

The formal address of brother or sister or
the informal sacrilegious ni**a.

When will translator become triumphant;
slave become Savior.

Lifetimes will pass and we can wait like the Second Coming
we can stand!